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An initiative to establish 'plant clinics' across the developing world has received a cash injection of £6.8 million (US$ 11 million) from the governments of Switzerland and the United Kingdom, according to BBC News.

The clinics will be run by so-called 'plant doctors', and will provide farmers with practical guidance on treating pests and diseases, as well as collecting front-line data to provide early warning system for crop problems.

"The plant doctors can be there on the ground to pick up the first signs of a new pest, or something that has not been picked up previously," Trevor Nicholls, chief executive officer of the Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI), a non-profit organisation based in the United Kingdom, told BBC News.

The clinics will be part of CABI's Plantwise Knowledge Bank, to be launched next month.

The plan is to set up more than 400 new clinics in 40 countries over the next five years, to join the 80 already operating in some 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

"The farmers come to the plant doctors with whatever problem they are experiencing in their crops," Nicholls told BBC News. "Each clinic, over time, serves a huge number of farmers in the local area."

Link to full article in BBC News

See below for a CABI video about plant clinics:


See below for a CABI video about Plantwise Knowledge Bank: